Guinéenews reports that the first single nationwide baccalauréat was recently held for the first time since Gen. Lansana Conté's reign began in 1984. All high school students throughout Guinea took the same exam in the hopes of being awarded a high school diploma.
Education officials seized student cell phones during the course of the exam and returned them at the end.
Nearly 500,000 students took the bac, over 21 percent more than attempted it last year.
The new national education minister called for introducing a new spirit of "professionalism in the Guinean educational system to install a culture of merit, transparency and to give a chance to everyone."